- Googling Mental Health symptoms and conditions has both pros and cons.
- It is challenging and important to enter therapy with an open mind for how your treatment might look/feel.
- Having agency over your health care is not only a right, but an imperative. Our practice is developing a tool to assist with maintaining client agency and managing clinical expectations.
One of the brilliant and tedious truths about living in the 21st century is having easy access to endless information. It can be relieving to type a set of symptoms or a question into Google and be met with options, explanations, and next steps. It can also leave a person feeling overwhelmed and flooded with new information.
This double edged sword of access can be especially true for the mental health field. On one hand, access to information about mental health has contributed to the de-stigmatization of therapy and empowered so many people to seek care. On the other hand, people often come to their first session with preconceived diagnoses for themselves, requests for specific modalities of therapy, and a set of expectations for what therapy will look like and how they might benefit from it. This presents a challenge for both the client and the clinician, since it can disrupt the organic nature of therapy sessions that makes them so eye-opening and introspective in the first place.
Ultimately, clients have every right to, and should, become knowledgeable about their options for mental health services. At the same time, the objective/explanatory information available online about different therapeutic modalities such as CBT, DBT, EMDR, SFBT, etc, should be taken with a grain of salt. The great beauty of it being humans that help other humans through mental health journeys is that there are as many options for services as there are clinicians in the field. Do your research and reserve space in your expectations for therapy for the actual sessions themselves.
Start My Wellness is about to launch a new tool at our practice that we hope will bridge the gap between client expectation and clinical practice: an evidence based mental health screening. This 30 minute screening will be recommended to all potential clients at our practice to help the client understand which services would be most appropriate to receive & help the clinician understand the client as well.
We are hopeful that this tool will provide a link between client agency and clinician ability. More to come in a future blog post.